City of Winnipeg Support for Freedom Road
The City of Winnipeg is committed to bringing access to the community of Shoal Lake First Nation #40. In order to do so, an all-weather road and two bridges must be designed and constructed, which are underway.
The cost of Freedom Road is estimated at $30 million, based on a 2011 preliminary estimate ($3 million for the design and $27 million for the road and two bridges).
Shoal Lake Tripartite Agreement
- The Shoal Lake tripartite agreement partners us with the Province of Manitoba and Shoal Lake First Nation #40.
- Established and signed on June 30, 1989, the agreement was designed to protect the water of Shoal Lake by promoting sustainable development in the lands adjacent to Shoal Lake.
- The objectives of the agreement include the protection of Shoal Lake – the source of Winnipeg’s drinking water, the development of a comprehensive waste management system and the promotion of Economic Development for the community.
- The key to sustainable economic and social development in the area is an all-weather access road.
Designing the all-weather road and bridges
- In its 2012 adopted capital budget, the City of Winnipeg included $1 million to proceed with the design of two bridges (Falcon River diversion and Aqueduct), independently of other levels of government.
- In 2012, then Mayor Sam Katz, Manitoba Minister Kevin Chief and Chief Erwin Redsky wrote to the Federal Government requesting matching Federal contributions towards the detailed design of the all-weather road to the Shoal Lake First Nation #40 community.
- In its 2013 adopted capital budget, the City of Winnipeg included an additional $1 million for the design of the Falcon River diversion bridge and the Aqueduct bridge.
- Preliminary design of the two bridges started in 2012.
- In 2014, the Federal Government committed funding to the detailed design of Freedom Road.
- In 2015, AECOM Engineering Consultants were engaged by the Shoal Lake First Nation #40 community to start the design of Freedom Road.
Constructing the all-weather road and bridges
- In its 2015 adopted capital budget, the City of Winnipeg included an additional $2 million for the construction of the Falcon River bridge. On April 14, 2015, Mayor Brian Bowman and Manitoba Minister Kevin Chief wrote to the Federal Government, asking for their commitment towards the construction of Freedom Road upon the completion of the detailed design.
- The Falcon River Diversion Bridge was completed on June 29, 2016. This permanent, all-weather crossing was funded, designed, and tendered by the City of Winnipeg. Construction of the bridge required community involvement for labor and supply of aggregate. This bridge provides access to the western mainland of Shoal Lake #40 reserve, including the recently developed gravel quarry and the seasonal winter road. It will be an important link between the future Freedom Road and the Trans-Canada Highway.
- Council also approved an additional $6 million dollars (for a total of $10 million dollars to date) in the 2016 budget for the anticipated construction of Freedom Road.
- Detailed design of the Aqueduct bridge is underway and construction is expected to begin in 2018.
Interim Winter Road
- In 2010, the City paid $100,000, which was one third of the initial cost of creating a western access winter road to Shoal Lake First Nation #40.
- In the winter of 2014-15, the City paid $50,000 to open the winter road for the bridge projects.